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Sen. Blumenthal, environmental officials speak out against PFAS in firefighting foam

Environment

WINDSOR, Conn. (WTNH) — Senator Richard Blumenthal spoke out against the use of firefighting foam containing dangerous chemicals called PFAS on Monday.

Senator Blumenthal was joined by the mayor of Windsor, as well as environmental officials when he demanded that the FAA take steps to eliminate PFAS in firefighting foam nationwide.

Right now, his office says the Federal Aviation Agency only allows airport firefighting foam containing PFAS. They say other countries have successfully done away with the chemical for a decade.

“The FAA is failing in its job to protect the public. I am going to double down in this fight against the FAA’s head in the sand attitude towards,” said Blumenthal.

“It’s time for us to regulate these chemicals as the hazardous contaminants they are and get them out of our firefighting foam,” said Louis Burch, CT Program Director for Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

WEB EXTRA: Sen. Blumenthal holds press conference on PFAS

The Connecticut Fund for the Environment says the Farmington River is one of the best trout streams in the world. Or at least it was before these two spills.

PFAS stands for ‘Per and Polyfluoroalkyl,’ and it’s in a lot of things. It’s used specifically in airplane fires, because it helps put out flames involving jet fuel.

Back in June, a faulty alarm at an airport hanger released a bunch of that foam, and it ended up down in storm drains that lead to the Farmington River.

A couple weeks ago when that World War II era bomber crashed, they used more PFAS firefighting foam, and it ended up in the river the same way.

PFAS have been linked to cancer, liver damage, decreased fertility, and increased risk of asthma and thyroid disease.

Kevin Dillon, Executive Director of the Connecticut Airport Authority, released the following statement on PFAS:

“The CAA takes our environmental, public safety, and community responsibilities very seriously.

We look forward to the day when non-PFAS firefighting foams are approved by the federal government for use at airports across the country.

In the meantime we are fully committed to our efforts to mitigate the potential of these chemicals being released into the environment if they are ever needed in emergency conditions.”

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